Biden adamant on Aug. 31 withdrawal from Afghanistan but asks for contingency plans

Biden adamant on Aug. 31 withdrawal from Afghanistan but asks for contingency plans

The US president asked the Pentagon and State Department to draw up contingency plans to alter the timeline “should that become necessary.”

US President Joe Biden told leaders from the G7 on Monday that his country was “on pace” to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan by August 31, after the Taliban warned Washington against any attempts to extend the timeline.

Biden gave an update on the progress of evacuating Americans who wanted to depart Afghanistan after the embarrassing and colossal collapse of the US-backed Afghan army and government, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

“He also made clear that with each day of operations on the ground, we have added risk to our troops with increasing threats from ISIS-K, and that completion of the mission by August 31st depends on continued coordination with the Taliban, including continued access for evacuees to the airport,” Psaki said.

Biden, on the other hand, is keeping his options open in terms of adjusting the US mission’s end date. According to Psaki, US President Obama has requested the Pentagon and the State Department to prepare contingency plans in case the timeline needs to be changed.

Biden’s decision to double down on the August 31 deadline came after reports emerged that CIA chief Bill Burns met with the Taliban’s Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Afghanistan on Monday. During this meeting, the Taliban made it clear that they would not accept any US military presence after the original deadline.


 

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